Craig S. Wright Claims to Own Mt. Gox's Stolen Bitcoin in Latest Letter
Craig S. Wright's latest claim has accidentally tied him to an early exchange hack.
- Craig S. Wright has claimed two more Bitcoin addresses as part of his dubious efforts to be recognized as Satoshi Nakamoto.
- One of those addresses holds BTC stolen from Mt. Gox, meaning that Wright has inadvertently tied himself to a crypto crime.
- It is unlikely that Wright owns the address or the stolen funds.
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One of those addresses, widely known as the “1Feex” address, contains funds stolen from Mt. Gox in 2011.
Why Did Wright Claim Stolen Bitcoin?
Wright aims to prove that he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, a highly dubious claim in and of itself.
As evidence, Wright often claims to own early Bitcoin addresses with substantial balances. The “1Feex” address with the stolen Mt. Gox funds meets both conditions, as it originally received funds in March 2011, and it currently has a balance of 79,900 BTC ($755 million).
Of course, by claiming that address, Craig S. Wright has also implicitly admitted to being involved in the Mt. Gox theft of 2011.
Wright’s letter makes no mention of Mt. Gox.
According to that letter, the “1Feex” address belongs to an address that is part of the Tulip Trust, a group of companies that allegedly control early Bitcoin funds.
Wright, naturally, intends to recover those funds.
Does Wright Own the Address?
It is improbable that Craigh S. Wright owns the “1Feex” address.
— Adam Back (@adam3us) June 13, 2020
Wright has claimed hundreds of other Bitcoin addresses in the past, but other Bitcoin users have come forward to prove ownership of those addresses by signing messages with their keys.
In today’s letter, Wright claims that he lost the keys to the “1Feex” address during a theft in February. This means that he cannot sign messages or transfer money from the Bitcoin address—while a supposed thief would have the ability to do so.
There is no evidence that anyone stole the address from Wright, but his argument does shift the burden of proof in a different direction.
Is Craig Wright Unstoppable?
The fact that Wright has accidentally tied himself to a crime will damage his already abysmal reputation within the crypto community.
However, that does not necessarily mean that the news will have any impact on any court cases that he is involved in, or that it will prevent him from attempting to file future lawsuits.
Some commentators have suggested suing Wright for claiming to own stolen funds, but it isn’t clear that doing so would be practical.
Though Wright’s past legal cases have not ended in his favor, he has not shown an interest in backing down—meaning that this controversy could continue for years to come.